I Choose to Exercise

Bird dog Exercise

My Simple Reasoning

Exercise, the personal responsibility that haunts us, angers us, embarrasses us, intimidates us, causes us to mock those who do, or find comfort, freedom from pain, and longevity. One of the many examples of encouragement to exercise comes from Mayo Clinic website article, Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity, where they state “Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability.”. Studies have shown that regular exercise combats health conditions and diseases such as Stroke, Metabolic syndrome, High blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, Depression, Anxiety, Many types of cancer, Arthritis, and Falls. Does exercise help us live longer? The answer is yes, according to several studies cited in a 2018 CNN article published on their website and written by Dr. Melina Jampolis. The promise of regeneration and hope of comfortable aging causes me to choose to exercise.

We Should Exercise

That we should exercise is a widely agreed principle of wise health practices. If there is disagreement, the dissenting voices are hard to find. This opinion has existed for ages indicated by  Hippocrates writing about the dangers of too little activity and the origination of TaiChi in China in the 12th Century BC. Many of the studies about the benefits of exercise tend to be observational and pose the problem of only showing an association not proof of exercise to health benefits. According to the Harvard Health Publishing article titled “Why Should We Exercise – and Why We Don’t”,  after statistical adjustments, the studies about exercise and improved health are more than a mere association. The many sources of encouragement to exercise use these observational studies as well as randomized clinical trials to reach their conclusion about the values of regular exercise. Of course we should exercise and knowing about the specific possible benefits will help us find the resolve to up our exercise habit.

Avoid, Eliminate, Reduce Disease

The promise of avoiding, eliminating, or reducing health issues often seems too good to be true but the strong evidence insists that we can. One example of health improvements through exercise is the effect on fending off heart attacks. Since 1972 the American Heart Association has published exercise guidelines to encourage everyone. The physiology is that exercise trains our heart to beat slower and stronger, requiring less oxygen, also causing arteries to get springier so blood flows easier, and increases levels of “good” HDL. Another example relates to diabetes when the muscles are worked more causing them to remain receptive to insulin which helps keep blood sugar levels  lower. Studies have demonstrated that sufficient physical activity reduces the likelihood of colon or breast cancer recurring. The list goes on and unless your medical provider advises you to avoid exercise you have a high probably of improved health by increasing you physical activity. 

Live Longer With Exercise

 Living healthier with reduced pain and disease eliminates many of the reasons we dread “growing old”and encourages us to look forward to older aging. A comprehensive study suggests that moderate exercise enables participants to expect to live 5.5 years longer than their sedentary counterparts.  Another study found a 20% lower risk of dying prematurely than those exercising less than the CDC’s recommendations. The exercise amounts required are not elite athletic level but are moderate exercise recommendations.

Choose to Exercise

Exercise remains an important part of a healthy lifestyle and has history and research to back up the encouragement for us to exercise regularly. Both observation studies with statistical adjustment and randomized clinical trials conclude that exercise provide health improvement to many health issues. The exercise studies focused on specific health issues provide strong indication that those who listen to their doctors and others promoting exercise as a method to avoid, improve, or reduce the health issues can expect success in line with their level of physical activity. Becoming healthier can lead to a longer life and increased physical activity creates a healthier us. The promise of regeneration and hope of comfortable aging causes me to choose to exercise.